Book of the Month

Michael Maiello's picture

President Obama Has Been Ducking Me On Serious Issues

As a citizen of the United States of America and employer of Barack Obama, I must protest that I have not yet once been invited to the White House, not even for a beer in the Rose Garden even though I a) like beer and b) am not allergic to roses.

Clearly, President Obama is afraid that I might ask a tough or unpredictable question or simply level him with some sort of criticism that will leave him wondering, "do I really even want to finish this second term?"

In fact, it seem that I am not the only American with this problem.  Oh, sure, the President will stop to make fun of Donald Trump for a second, but he largely hasn't even addressed most of us directly.

Meanwhile, we learn from The Politico (via Gawker because their take is more entertaining) that the White House has engaged in:

"Extensive government creation of content (photos of the president, videos of White House officials, blog posts written by Obama aides), which can then be instantly released to the masses through social media."

It's almost as if Obama has hired some sort of communications office to control his messaging.  I recall a simpler America, where Presidents would set the side of a barn on fire and just tell us who was getting killed by drones and why.  If these "fireside chats" were good enough for Presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Charles Guiteau, they should be good enough for Obama.

Okay, Politico, I am responding with hyperbole.  But Obama is not your assistant any more than he is my employee.  We citizens, journalists and non-journalists alike can ask for certain things.  If we must, we can use the law to get those things.  If, as Gawker points out, the White House dumps a bunch of documents on you on Friday night well, you can use your Saturday to review them.  Or not.  Maybe you don't have to be first.  Maybe a more careful review, conducted on Monday, will move the story forward in a better way.  Some of the best investigative work is done by writers with no real access and no solid deadlines.  If you're going to report a big story for months then whether you get your documents on Friday at 6 p.m.or Wednesday at noon really doesn't matter.  A big, important story is big an important a couple of days from now.  That's how you measure how big and important it is.

Maybe this is what we've lost sight of and this is, also, what a publication like The Politico is supposed to help us avoid -- you don't cover the White House by chasing Tweets and golf outings.  It is nice to get an interview with the President.  It's really nice to get a candid interview with him though, you might have noticed, he's actually spent a career dealing with unexpected questions and managing to stay on message, they all have.

In my journalism days I used to tell sources, particularly when things got contentious, "relax, it's not a pop quiz."  When people say, "my office will get you that information," they aren't stonewalling (unless they never deliver).  But getting somebody to misspeak -- a President, a Senator or a CEO, isn't some sort of accomplishment.

I dare say that Politco is missing a thousand stories that are likely hidden in plain sight, in public documents issued by state and federal government agencies all of the time.

The Politico whine is dereliction of duty.

My house is  white, we make our own ale, and while the trim on my house is smurf blue, well I do have a Rose Garden, it smells awesome in the summer. Your invited, but only because I like that you have Destor J. In fact have you used Destor Junior at all in your correspondence with the Pres. I think that might help your case. :) There are also other kinds of gardens in the area, some not for kids at all! Wait wut?

I hate Politico, at first I thought they would be a decent ezine when they launched, I've never been more wrong, they sucked from the very beginning.

But getting somebody to misspeak -- a President, a Senator or a CEO, isn't some sort of accomplishment.

WE WANT TO KNOW MORE AND IF WE CAN GET IT; THAT'S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Many in this country, hadn't heard about the  right of the President, to order the killing of others with drones, with very little oversight, to prevent the slaughter of innocent people.

The people will not receive any more information, than what the President and his propagandists will allow.

It has been noted about Obama; he is sharp, clear-sighted intelligence, his oratorical gifts and flair for theatrical effects, his uninhibited opportunism and ideological radicalism

Similarities

It was reported about  Joseph Goebbels

It was in the Nazi Party that Goebbels's    sharp, clear-sighted intelligence, his oratorical gifts and flair for theatrical effects, his uninhibited opportunism and ideological radicalism blossomed in the service of an insatiable will-to-power.

The only thing that matters in the drone strikes, is what the President allows to be said.   NO interviews

Am I missing something or is history repeating itself?  

Does Godwin's law, protect the President? 

The Politco story never even mentions drones.  Instead, it tries to bame Obama for the fearfulness of the press corp.:

"Many reporters find Obama himself strangely fearful of talking with them and often aloof and cocky when he does. They find his staff needlessly stingy with information and thin-skinned about any tough coverage. He gets more-favorable-than-not coverage because many staffers are fearful of talking to reporters, even anonymously, and some reporters inevitably worry access or the chance of a presidential interview will decrease if they get in the face of this White House."

Do you really buy that this is more true of the Obama White House than it has been of any other?  I'll spot you a Godwin's Law violation, that's never really irked me as much as it has some others.  I suspect what's going on there is far more interesting than a propaganda conspiracy.  It's probably more a symptom of how wars are fought in a time of political gridlock, particularly when compounded by fiscal imbalance and public acceptance of the tactic.

A good memory is needed once we have lied. PIERRE CORNEILLE, Le Menteur

No interviews, no lies?  

First they came for the bayonet mount pistol grip AR-15's,
...but I was not a squirrel hunter,
Then they came for the 100 round drum magazines,
...but a pastime popping portly prairie dogs was not mine,
Then the drones put me in a NObamaZERO FEMA re-education camp,
...and there was nothing left to stop them!

Did you read this headline?

84, 999,987 Firearm owners killed no one yesterday.

People are lousy shots.

I was gripped with fear last night and emptied a clip of 9mm into my utility closet door on the hunch a marauder had snuck into it. Turned out I put 16 holes in the water heater. But it felt pretty good until I opened the door.

I was gripped with fear. ...

NCD, what the heck are you doing .... having a gun in your possession?

You describe, fear, hallucinations, delusions, and confusion.

Early Psychosis Intervention - Information on drug induced psychosis

It is also believed that some drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine can cause a condition known as a drug-induced psychosis. This psychosis can last up to a few days, and is often characterized by hallucinations, delusions, memory loss and confusion. This usually results from prolonged or heavy street-drug use; and it responds well to treatment.

LOL, I blew coffee out of my nose with that one NCD...Well played.

It was funny in some sense (16) ?  but letting you know; because you know my position on gun issues  I didn't laugh, because I didn't want to appear as a Suck Up.

I'm trying to suck up now with the Ms. My gun's down at Honest Abe's Pawn, Check Cash and Gun....raising the $ for a new water heater. Still got the McD's binocs to watch for drones, Happy Meal model.

Cold showers this time of year didn't go over too well with the kinfolk and that You Tube video on fixin bullet holes in your gas fired water heater didn't work out too well for me. 

Hahahahaha

Next time buy a Kevlar coated, insulated water heater blanket.

When you redeem the gun from the shop, trade it for a Bushmaster.

Yeah, could use the kids old bullet proof backpacks, good idea.

Renewable / reusable enlightened A whole new cottage industry?

Maybe Obama could visit a manufacturing plant and exploit the opportunity, as he does so many other things.

FDR spoke of the idea  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  It turns out; Fear is governments greatest tool  

Picture Obama surrounded by children with Kevlar backpacks touting the greenness and Safety.

Use it for protection and use it for energy conservation.

Maybe the money borrowed and spent for Solyndra, Cash for clunkers and appliances, could have paid for the vests and police at the schools? Maybe Mental Heath care?

Those items could possibly have been aided by funds intended to jump-start alternative fuel options (still a good idea even if Solyndra itself was a disappointment...what is the percentage of businesses which fail?) and jump-start economic activity. But it is likely those who oppose the above government initiated programs would be just as likely to oppose government funded school vests and security. We already know how they feel about healthcare of any kind.

Obama played his part in drowning the baby (boomers) in the bathtub; just as much as the Norquist Republicans.

The thing is, why are they talking about Medicare cuts and raising the retirement age NOW, Second term?

The money that was squandered on those other stimulus packages, wasn't the best bang for the buck, it increased the debt and now Washington wants to ravish the safety net, because we have a debt crisis? 

Had Obama pressed the issue, to allow earlier retirement, putting more stimulus money in the hands of those retired, instead of with the banksters; those with college degrees, who are looking for jobs now, would be filling the vacancies, left by those who took the opportunity to retire.

In the prime of the young ones lives, they are not able to save, so they will have to work longer.

How do you like the cash for clunker program now, when people realize it was a bribe,  the proverbial thirty pieces of silver, the rope given to the working class so they would hang themselves. 

Folks we need to make drastic cuts to pay for these scams.

It was all BS to further advance the subjugation of the middle class.

Transparency? The Obama administration is making it near impossible for journalists to do their jobs. The media is scraping for whatever they can get. And most of the time, it's not news, it's the president's PR: http://www.thailawforum.com/blog/in-content-distribution-and-media-obama-admin-runs-the-show

The media's relationship with the White House should be adversarial, no matter which party is in the Oval Office.  The media is always "scraping for what it can get." That is its job.

There is such a thing as the "Thai Law Forum"???? Whoa...I am afraid of clicking the link, it has to be a porn site.

This is why I'm not clicking.  If it's not porn, it's going to disappoint me.

I admit it, I clicked.  Sorry guys, no porn site today.  Just an actual Thai Law Forum site!

Facts to the rescue!

Haha. You are a brave man Bruce. I thought for sure it was either porn or a Trojan.  

Brave or, more likely, stupid!

Comparing Obama to Nazis while ignoring open Republican facist behaviors and tactics? 

 

Automatic Fail.

Obama as do ALL political leaders and their parties, including the NAZI party; they all have a common goal and that is to RULE or RUIN,  and they maintain this rule with propaganda and lies.

Then such a comparison is utterly facile, serving only to inflame…

Inflame who?  

KISS

People who don't like Nazis…

The sanity that is Kevin Drum concludes:

"What to think? I'd like the president of the United States to make himself more available for tough questioning on a routine basis. However, I'd also like a national press corps that pays enough attention to policy that it can ask tough questions and then keep drilling down when they're getting brushed off. But most of them don't. They ask predictable questions based on whatever the opposition party happens to be kvetching about at the moment, and that represents the limit of what they can do. I'm pretty sure you could give Mike Allen a ten-hour interview with the president and he still wouldn't be able to nail him down on a tough policy question of any importance. He either doesn't care, doesn't have the background knowledge to do it, or both. 
 
 What to do? Obama is right: the DC press corps is hardly worth engaging with on subjects of any substance. But the DC press corps is also right: he should make himself available anyway. If reporters don't lay a glove on him, that's their problem, not his."
 

My favorite part is the implicit assumption: Obama is dissing Politico and friends because they ask too many hard questions.

Also the title, "Obama, the puppet master." I think Glenn Beck used that one too.

I'm not doing much these days. A little golf, trying out painting... Feel free to stop and have a beer with me if you want to. I still have friends and can get them to do a drone strike on somebody if that's what you're after.

--W

Latest Comments